Fair warning, dear reader, the below is almost as long as a novel, but it’ll be an interesting read. Grab a drink, sit back, and enjoy the chaos…
Approximately two weeks ago, D (the sort-of-boy-toy, remember him?) asked if I would be interested in going with him and his kids to a sort-of-nearby amusement part for opening weekend. My quick response was something along the lines of, “Thanks for the offer, but I’m not a fan of rides, so have fun.” Over the next couple of days, we chatted more about it and he mentioned that he’d really prefer some company, but unfortunately, there were no takers for the, “Anybody wanna go with?” question. So, I reconsidered and shrugged.
I mentioned it to Paul, and his answer was, “You said ‘no,’ right?” That took me by surprise. Paul is the easy-going one. Why would he have a problem with me going? Because I’d be meeting D’s kids. That goes a bit farther than having bedroom fun, and we did have a no feelings/bonding clause in this agreement. Paul had a point, this would be a sort-of family trip, but did he forget my aversion to children?
Everyone knows that. Yes, D knows that, too. I made sure to tell him.
For me, this wouldn’t be a family thing. I’d be keeping D company, and he’d be taking care of his kids.
Catie here, Lena talks a good game but she does actually like kids. Baby girls especially but really all kids. She’s not one to jump in and get her hands dirty with them (unless it’s a sleepy newborn, in that case she’s the best snuggler ever) but she thinks they are fun and funny. Soooo take that “aversion to children” statement with a grain of salt – or two.
Ironically, Bina agreed with Paul; this was a bad idea. This was the kind of thing that helped relationships grow.
Catie said something along the lines of, “Whatever, but you’ll get nothing out of this. You don’t like rides, and you don’t like kids, so… why?”
Catie again, I also didn’t think (from experience) that meeting the kids was a good idea. Kids are awesome but a trap. I also know (from experience) that going anywhere as a single parent is fucking hard. I’ve done it – a lot – and it can either be awesome or a shit show because, kids. As a former single mom, I can say that bringing an adult friend along even if they say it’s not to help with the kids is like having a security blanket. No real friend would let anything happen to your kid if you needed to say…pee or blink or look for something in a bag. I don’t blame D one iota for wanting a second adult with him. But at some level, as a former single mom sometimes you need to parent-up and deal (don’t jump all over me, I KNOW it’s hard.) Something about the whole situation made me feel like he was using Lena (if unintentionally) a little bit. Funny thing, I don’t like that.
Because D sounded a bit bummed that he didn’t have any adult company, and I don’t like sad D.
So, I chatted with everybody. Though everyone, except D and I, thought it was a bad idea, they let it go. Meaning, I got permission, if that’s what you’d like to call it. So after considering everything–many times–I decided to go anyway.
I don’t like to think of this as permission, all three of us are humans with free will and we all do things that the others might not do. I know I do crap Paul and Lena wouldn’t all the time. I don’t go looking for permission, I just do stuff. We don’t need to give her permission to go to an amusement park. We can offer opinions but really that’s about it.
Saturday came, and D and I started texting, as is the norm. During our chat, he mentioned that the night before, he’d gone out with a group of people from work, but that one of his school partners showed up. He’d asked her to come; he’d hoped she would, but hadn’t expected her to. But she did. And they had a great time until 3 am.
As I read his words, could see how excited he was about her, I have to admit my scorpion tail started to rise. Immediately, I told it to settle down. This was the whole point. First, he’d stopped thinking about his ex; second, he seemed happy again. Joking, laughing. So, yeah, obviously he’s going to get attention. Besides, that’s what typically happens with me. I flirt with someone, they feel better about themselves, then go off and fuck someone else. According to the normal flow chart, we’re right on schedule. So, we chatted about her and I teased him a little, then encouraged him to go for it. Have fun, I told him, and meant it. Everyone should have someone in their life that they click with.
Then we changed the subject and had some logistics conversations regarding the amusement park visit. We agreed that I’d meet him at his house; we’d target 8:30 am as the departure time, and we’d use my electric car to go. That last one would save him a lot of money on gas.
Yesterday came and I was there at 8:30 am. As I expected though, they weren’t ready. Getting three kids going in the morning is the equivalent of wrangling cats. No big deal. It’s supposed to be a fun day. While they finished up, I played games on my phone.
Once everything was settled, we got in the car and off we went.
First, the youngest who’s eight, forgot his phone at home. We doubled back to get it. Again, no big deal. Take two. Once on the highway, we heard sounds of vomiting from the back seat. Oh crap! The youngest was sick. Pulled over to make sure he was alright. He hadn’t eaten anything yet, and I’m wondering if he got car sick from staring at his phone in a moving vehicle, while on an empty stomach. That happens to me. D suggested we head to some nearby store for a change of clothes and some meds. I suggested some ginger ale and crackers, too. So, we did that, but while I was driving, the poor kid was still going. Got to the store, did what we had to do, kid gets changed but refused to eat anything. Though I wish he’d put something in his tummy, I can’t blame him. Who wants to eat when violently ill like that?
At that point, he wanted to go home. Again, can’t blame him. But the two older girls started whining.
Parenting. Isn’t it grand?
D was stuck. He wanted everyone happy, and I was thinking, That ain’t happening, man… So I told him, “Sick takes priority over fun time.” The girls were not happy with that comment. D made an executive decision and called the ex, asked if she’d be able to take the boy so the girls could still go to the park. She agreed.
(side bar: Before everyone out there starts thinking he’s an asshole, the youngest doesn’t really love the park. There are only a few rides he enjoys, and if given the option, he’s just as happy staying home watching tv. He doesn’t feel like he’s missing out by not going. Also, he loooooves his mommy. So, win-win.)
Back to D’s house. While he’s off to the ex’s with the children, I cleaned my car. Luckily, the mess was mostly on the kid and his seat, and I just had to do some lysol spray/wipe down. A lot of lysol.
At that point, I had used up a quarter of my electric car’s battery, and I was doing math in my head. It’d be plenty to get up there and still have enough to get us to one of the charging points when we left. I told him that we’d have to stop for dinner on the way back and charge. It was either that, or he’d have to drive. But since he hadn’t planned on driving, we’d need to stop for gas, and by now, it’s close to noon… So, into my car we went.
From there, the day was pleasant. The girls weren’t annoying as I’d feared, which was very good; they were actually pretty cute and sweet. The middle child is definitely daddy’s girl so she was with him all day, though I’d get an occasional wave and a screamed, “Hello!” while they were on rides.
The older one would sometimes chat and stay with me for brief moments, especially when she was bored waiting in line. Also, she wanted to save a beetle we found in her water bottle. Considering how gross it was that we found it in the bottle, the fact that she didn’t want to immediately squish it to death gave me some warm and fuzzies. Not only that, but she carefully took it and put it on one of the small patches of grass and flowers scattered throughout the park. That alone was enough to make me like her. (For those of you who think, It’s just a stupid beetle, it’s a life. And she saw that.)
(See my comments about Lena and kids above)
The day passed and everyone had a great time.
At 6ish, it was time to go home, and as I had planned, I drove us to a nearby place with a charging station. Plugged the car in and it said that full charge would be completed around 3 am.
Yup. It said: 3 A.M.
In my brilliant planning, I had expected these public places to have fast chargers. These were not fast chargers. Fuck. (In my defense, I’ve had this car for a month…! I’m still learning. Also, yes, I know this situation is quite the magnificent fuckup.)
I told myself, It’s fine. I don’t need a full charge; I just need enough to get them, and myself home. So, we walked over to the restaurant, placed the order, and I started doing math in my head again. Even getting it halfway would take much too long. These girls needed to go home.
Thinking about other charging stations in the area, I remembered that there was a car dealership nearby. They’d have a fast charger, right? They must… So, I left them at the restaurant to check.
So, I know Lena loves her car. In theory I love the idea of all electric cars but around here the infrastructure needed to support them for long distances just doesn’t exist. We just aren’t there yet.
At that point, I was having a significant freakout. And I did what I always do when I seriously fuck up… I called Paul.
After just a couple of minutes on the phone, Paul is a little mad, and Catie took over the call. I asked that one of them, please, pretty please, take them home. If it was just D and me, we would’ve just sat in the car and waited; but the girls needed to go home. So, please, pretty please, meet me at a charging station half way and then take them home. Catie, my hero, agreed. (Yes, I know I owe her big time…)
So a little background on the Paul/Catie side of things. We were home together with nothing really to do on a Sunday afternoon. Remember what horny toads we tend to be, let your mind wander to what we might have been up to and make it around oh 10 times dirtier and more fun. When Lena’s call came through we immediately stopped playing (hey I had already “finished” once so a break would be fine, but Paul… um not so much) to answer. We knew something wasn’t right if Lena was calling, because we tend to communicate by text when all is well. So Paul’s mood wasn’t exactly great. For the record, he obviously would have gone to rescue, I just didn’t want him to start shouting first (I hate angry shouting) and asked for the phone. Lena and I talked, she sent the address for the meeting point and Paul and I got dressed and hit the road.
I went back to the restaurant and told D the news. His reaction:
And then he laughs, “Oh, you mean the Catie who hates me?” I told him that she didn’t hate him; she didn’t even know him. He didn’t reply, but his expression spoke volumes. He was livid, with good reason.
(Why tf did he think I hate him? I don’t, I mean hate is a strong word. “Would prefer not to deal with” isn’t “Hate.” It’s indifference. After all, at that point in time I hadn’t said two words to the man, ever.)
I didn’t tell him that it didn’t matter; we had no choice. As it was, they’d be getting home around 10 and his ex was going to be livid, too.
I’m not sure what Paul and Catie discussed, but a minute later Paul called saying that he would take D and the girls home, and Catie would stay with me during the charge.
The jist of the discussion we had was, I wasn’t going to be stuck in a car with D and his kids. Neither of us wanted to leave Lena alone for hours while the stupid car charged. So me stay, Paul go was a fairly easy decision.
(side bar: Imagine if I’d had lied about what I’d be doing and with whom? What would I have done then?!)
It was a slightly better situation, though not by much. D was very uncomfortable with spending an hour in a car with the husband of the woman he’d fucked. I tried to tell him that it wasn’t a big deal to Paul, but it didn’t help.
I can confirm this is a normal feeling when you’re new to poly. In the beginning, it was weird spending time with Lena when I’d just sucked her mans dick the night before. You figure out that the partner is happy for you and their spouse, eventually. D will too, if he hangs out long enough.
(side bar: When we got home, just after 12:30 am, we immediately went to bed. Butttt, Paul wasn’t ready to sleep; he still wanted his happy ending. So, he asked Catie for a blow. Catie said no, because it was very late, but she offered him a quick lay. They did their thing, and she had a nice little orgasm. But he didn’t finish. So, Catie went to task and blew him anyway. Afterwards, Catie was laying there and softly, she said, “No matter what, he always gets a blow, whenever he asks for one. He’ll hold it, make me cum, and then he’ll get his blow anyway.” Paul quickly replied, “It’s my Superpower.” Queue laughter because it’s true.
This was right up there with one of our most hilarious moments ever. The timing was perfect and we all giggled for a good 5 minutes, which was very much needed. Plus it’s true, I somehow always end up blowing Paul if that’s what he wants, even if I’m not feeling it. I swear he’s a secret Jedi with his mind tricks.
But always consensual! Always!)
Now, back to the drama…
On the drive to the midway point, while the girls kept themselves (and D) busy with riddles, the car’s battery level went to orange. Everything is fine… My eyes bounced between the two indicators, how much battery was left and how many miles we still had to go. Everything is fine… I had 10 extra miles of battery. Plenty. Everything is fine… The words were a mantra in my head, as if saying them would make them true, but traffic made a liar out of me. I hit road construction. Eventually, the orange number of remaining battery disappeared and became the word low. It flashed on the screen, repeatedly drawing attention to the fact that the car was about to die.
I still had 4 miles to go.
Oh my God, we may not make it…
More than a little scared, I pulled over to the side of the highway, wondering if there were any charging stations closer. I hated to make Catie and Paul drive any farther, but I didn’t think I had a choice. Turns out, I had no choice either way. The midway point we’d decided on was the closest. I merged back into traffic and reminded myself that the current situation–at that exact moment–was out of my control. The car would either get there or it wouldn’t. And if it didn’t, then I’d call for a tow truck. It is what it is.
Luckily, it did make it.
Paul and I were in the parking lot with the charger, having freakouts at this point, too. We were trying to figure out if we’d be able to find them on the road to help if the car did actually die. There was a huge sigh of relief when we saw Lena pull in.
I plugged the car in and ignored D and the girls while they moved their stuff from one vehicle to another. I stayed by the front of the car, chatting with Catie about the misadventure. Eventually, I did a quick, “Hey, girls, this is Paul,” figuring they should know the guy who’d be driving them home, then added, “And Catie,” because, you know, she was there, but the whole situation was awkward beyond anything I can remember. Catie avoided D, D avoided Catie, and at some point, in a desperate need to get away from it all, I just started walking to the restaurant that Catie and I would be for the next couple of hours. I did yell a, “Good night, guys,” over my shoulder.
Looking back, it was probably not the best way to handle it. But why not end the trip with another spectacular fuck up?
This is the last comment I’m going to make (I think) because I can’t speak to anything below. I think Lena handled things very well in the parking lot. It was a tense situation and nothing could really change that. Paul and I were just happy Lena was safe (ok, D and the kids, too) and that the car made it to the charge point. I think Lena and I went on to have a lovely dinner date (our second of the weekend.)
Now at 2,000+ words, you’d think this blog post was done…
After Paul called to let us know that D and the girls had been dropped off and he was heading home, I texted D and asked how bad the confrontation with his ex had been. Good news, it hadn’t. Her mother had walked the boy to the car, and there’d been no issues.
Despite feeling absolutely horrible for my brilliant lack of planning, Catie and I had a great dinner date. We chatted until the place closed, with our conversations ranging from our day, to books, to family, etcetera. Then, we ended up in the car, waiting until we had more than enough battery to get home.
Not gonna lie; at that point, I was feeling the day and was getting a little tired. So the two of us sat there, mostly in silence, on our phones. Catie reassured her family that she was fine, while they worried about her and told her she was nuts for agreeing to rescue me, (can’t blame them!) and I texted D.
It started light enough, with funny comments about lessons learned and things to never-do again. Then the conversation turned to the ex and how he was dealing with her. (Apparently, he’s much better.) Wanting to change the conversation away from her, I asked about his plans for today.
(side bar: Now that I’m awake, I can see why his mind went where it did, but at the time, I was just making conversation.)
Earlier in the day, he’d mentioned that his school partner was coming over to study with him, so I asked him when she’d be stopping by. Then I teased him about waiting for the day he’d tell me they’d been studying anatomy. He was quick to say that he’s not going to rush anything, that they were really going to study. I shrugged (which he could totally see via text).
Since I really wanted to close my eyes, I wished him good night, he said the same, and I put the phone down thinking we were done. But he wasn’t. A few more back and forth silly comments, and then he asks outright: “Tell me the truth, is the (insert partner’s name here) thing bothering you?”
It was midnight, after a long day, my thinking was slow and my filter was broken. I remembered my reaction to his texts about their great time until 3 am and my scorpio side came out in full force, Those I fuck, fuck only me! It was quickly followed by, Settle the fuck down.
My reply: “Sigh… do I have to?”
He says: “That’s what I thought… I’m sorry.”
Seeing that was a shot of adrenaline. Oh my God, what else can I do to fuck up this night?! That text made it sound like I was jealous. (I think Freud would agree, but he’s dead, so his opinion doesn’t matter.) That’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works. He’s not mine. Everyone agreed that this is just a physical relationship. And yes, I care about him, as I would any other friend. (Okay, maybe a tiny bit more…) But D is absolutely, 100% available, and if he wants someone, then he should have at it. And if I hadn’t been half asleep, I would have said something better.
In a hurry to fix it, I made sure to tell him that if she makes him happy, then he should absolutely go for it. He’s gotta find somebody; it’s not like I can bring him into my circle.
He proceeded to tell me that things are complicated with her. He shared some details which were eerily familiar, echos of what he’d told me over 10 years ago, when he’d first met his wife. My reaction: No… not again… Using what I hope were gentle words, I told him to be careful. He tells me he likes her; she makes him happy. I think: I won’t go through this shit again in another ten years… He tells me they just enjoy being with each other. I told him that he needed to take it a day at a time, learn who she was, because I didn’t want him to fall for someone who wasn’t real. In my head, I add: Like the wife who put your heart through a shredder.
I don’t know this woman, at all, but it just feels like a rip in time and I’m reliving what happened when he met his soon-to-be ex wife. It’s deja-vu. A similar situation, similar words, similar type of person.
But I couldn’t deal with it anymore. I was honest with him and told him I didn’t want continue with the conversation.
Wanting to leave things in a lighter mood, I joked with him that Catie used only about 20 miles worth of energy for a 50 mile trip, so yes, I still loved my car. He told me I should learn how to drive it from her. I told him to bite me and wished him a good night.
That was at 12:30 am this morning. I haven’t spoken to him since. They’re probably together right now, but I’m not gonna text and find out. Forget it.
I hope you enjoyed my rollercoaster story better than I enjoyed living through it.
Until next time…
OK, OK this is really the last comment: I’m pretty sure D will be back, but if he’s not, then I’m going on record as saying I’m 100% right about him. Either way I think a breather will be good for both of them. Also, I’m a little jealous of Lena’s ability to get a boy-toy in the first place. Not that I’m looking, because I have plenty on my plate.